Intergovernmental Scientific Networks in Latin America

Intergovernmental Scientific Networks in Latin America
Source: Science and Diplomacy

 

International science cooperation networks are increasingly contributing to improving relationships among countries and to the integration of world regions.1 Latin American countries have a long tradition of bilateral, regional, and global scientific cooperation as an essential tool to strengthen and complement national capacities for research, technological development, and innovation.2 However, despite numerous multilateral initiatives, the region has not fully leveraged the opportunities and additional benefits that scientific collaboration offers to facilitate international relations, address shared transnational challenges, and achieve common development goals. The multiplicity of forums at the political level, budgetary problems, political instability, and the gap between science and policy have limited the effectiveness and relevance of multilateral scientific initiatives on broader political and societal decisions.3 The accelerated growth of Latin America in the last decade represents an opportunity to build scientific and technological capacity while contributing to strengthening the relationships among its countries in the twenty-first century.

To provide insights on how such relationships could be established or strengthened, this paper analyzes how two regional science cooperation initiatives, the Ibero-American Programme for Science, Technology and Development (CYTED) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), contributed directly or indirectly to Latin American regional integration over the past decades. Both networks operated initially as North-to-South initiatives driven institutionally and financially by Northern countries but evolved into more horizontal, South-to-South cooperation networks partly because of the emergence of politically stable and economically growing middle-income countries in Latin America. The analysis provides an understanding of the motivations, attributes, and practices behind the two networks and suggests recommendations for strengthening the value of science as a vehicle for regional cohesion and improved international relations. Identifying the networks’ differences and similarities, their level of political relevance, and their autonomy from governments may inform future national, regional, and global efforts in developing science diplomacy instruments and strategies in the region.



Cont'd.

LINK:
http://www.sciencediplomacy.org/article/2014/intergovernmental-scientific-networks-in-latin-america

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